Don’t Fear the Robots
“You know, that little droid is going to cause me a lot of trouble.” – Luke Skywalker
The following post comes to you from Jibe’s Director of Product, Alex Hunsucker. You can also find a version of this post on the HCI website.
Today’s talent acquisition landscape is packed with an array of shiny new technology solutions, which is all well and good and very exciting. But at the same time, it can be absolutely confounding. Recruiting technology – while designed to make life easier – can actually make things more difficult. In a recent survey of corporate recruiters from Kelton Research, commissioned by Jibe, respondents reported the following thoughts with regard to their current technology:
- Nearly half (46%) of recruiters surveyed are dissatisfied with current technology
- Almost three-fourths (73%) of recruiters say their current technology does little to save them frustration in their daily work
- 45% of all recruiters feel they need better technology to effectively achieve their goals
The recruiting world, by and large, is still seemingly locked into outdated, legacy solutions that only add to the daily frustration and stress. Instead of effectively doing their job – finding top talent – the Kelton survey revealed that talent acquisition professionals spend nearly three working days per month wresting with their technology. It doesn’t have to be this way.
The pace of innovation in software development today means the daily struggle of grappling with cumbersome, difficult-to-use technologies is coming to an end.
Business technology used to drive consumer tech innovation. Not anymore. Now, it’s the business world looking to those consumer technologies that have made it easier for us to communicate, find restaurants, connect with friends and even heat our homes. The recruiting world now turns to social networks, those that began in college dorm rooms. Twitter has been adopted as a recruiting channel. And the underlying technology that powers Twitter lies at the heart of certain emerging recruiting analytics solutions.
These are all positive developments, leading to a day when talent acquisition can finally break the chains of outmoded, legacy applications. Recruiting software should be as nimble, flexible and intuitive as our personal technology is. The solutions are there, and recruiters have been dipping their toes in the water over the past few years, which is good. But it’s time to take the full plunge and let technology work for you, rather than the other way around.
Naturally, the decision to take that full plunge and embrace new solutions is one fraught with trepidation. As Raghav Singh wrote about on ERE.net this week, the rise of automation leads to concerns about whether the robots are going to take over recruiting.
While understandable, it is this type of ill-advised fear that contributes to the slow adoption of newer, better solutions. Don’t fear the robots. After all, they were created by people.
And that’s the heart of the matter, really. It’s a hackneyed expression, but you can’t take the human out of human resources. No matter how advanced the technologies have become, you can’t take the person out of personnel. Of all the new solutions being brought to market today, the ones that are designed first and foremost with people – not process – in mind, will be the ones that win out.
Megan Stanish touched on this last week on ERE.net. In a piece titled, “There Are People in Your Shiny Objects,” she writes:
“… if you want to get the most out of your recruitment investments, you need to remain cognizant of the fact that the work we do and the tools we choose to implement should not be about having “cool stuff.” Nor should it be about running down a check-list of “best practices we haven’t adopted yet.” Rather, it should be about reaching out to and connecting with people.”
And Jessica Miller-Merrell of Blogging4Jobs, in an article on Recruiter.com, added:
“I’m of the belief that the future of recruiting in 2014 really starts with collaboration and relationship recruiting that goes beyond a platform or technology and is focused squarely on the individual candidate and recruitment.”
This is the right way to think about your software solutions in 2014. In a way, your recruiting technology should be designed so that you don’t even think about your recruiting technology. It should allow you to focus squarely on finding the right candidates and easily connecting with them. It shouldn’t keep you mired in spreadsheets and constantly on the phone with support. We should be well beyond that at this point.
Yes, hiring is a process; but it’s a process with people at the very heart of it. So make it one of your goals in 2014 to welcome the robots and finally take that full plunge. Let the technology take care of the process, so you can take care of the people.